Allan Rosenbaum

Artist Profile

Allan Rosenbaum

Allan Rosenbaum is a studio artist and former Professor at Virginia Commonwealth University. Rosenbaum’s practice is materially based and utilizes a range of analogue processes to investigate intersections between craft, painting and sculpture. Allan has received Individual Artist Fellowships from the Virginia Commission for the Arts in both Craft and Sculpture, three early career project grants from the Wisconsin Arts Board and he is a Fellow of the Virginia Center for Creative Art. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally and is represented in public collections including the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Taipei Yingge Ceramics Museum, the City Museum of Varazdan, Croatia, Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts, Madison Art Center in Wisconsin, the Museum of Arts and Sciences in Macon, GA, the Montgomery Museum of Fine Art and the Mobile Museum of Art in Alabama, the City of Richmond Public Art Commission, and the Kamm Teapot Foundation.


Selected Solo/Two-Person Exhibitions

2022   A-Piece-A-Part; Artspace; Raleigh, NC (two-person, scheduled)
2020   Memento; Quirk Gallery; Richmond, VA (solo)
2017   Kaleidoscopic Interchange; FAB Gallery, VCUarts Fine Arts Building, Richmond VA (solo)
2015   Binary; Mill Gallery, Pawtucket, RI (solo)
2014   Shaped Polarities: Allan Rosenbaum and Fiona Ross; Baron and Ellin Gordon Art Gallery, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA
2013   Dialogue in Black and White; Mclean Project for the Arts; Mclean, VA (solo)
2000   Allan Rosenbaum, The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, PA
2000   Poetic License: The Sculpture of Allan Rosenbaum, Visual Art Center of Richmond, Richmond, VA
1999   Allan Rosenbaum: Ceramics and Drawings, Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts, Little Rock, AR

Selected Group Exhibitions

2022   Hand Crafted; Blackrock Center for the Arts; Germantown, MD
2022   Verso: A Virtual Sehnsucht Exhibition; Field Projects; New York, NY
2019   About Face/Contemporary Ceramic Sculpture; Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Montgomery, AL (travel to The Art Museum of South Texas and the Figge Art Museum)
2018   Deep Flash: On Art and Transformation; VisArts at Rockville, MD
2016   Some Abstraction Required, Spartanburg Art Museum, Spartanburg, SC
2016   Dredged/Drawn, Fed Gallery, Kendall College of Art and Design, Grand Rapids, MI
2016   Interpretations, Craft Alliance Center of Art and Design, St. Louis, MO
2015   Material World, Indianapolis Art Center, Indianapolis, IN
2015   A Journey from Realism to Abstraction and Nob-Obejctive Art; Charles H. Taylor Art Center, Hampton, VA
2014   The Price of Freedom, Walker Point Center for the Arts, Milwaukee, WI
2014   Good As Gold, Craft Alliance,Center of Art and Design St. Louis, MO
2014   Material World, Indianapolis Art Center, Indianapolis, IN
2010   Crossing Lines, Delaware Center for Contemporary Art, Newark DE
2010   Ceramica Multiplex, International Festival of Postmodern Ceramics 2009, City Museum, Varazdan, Croatia
2004   North American Ceramic Sculpture NOW, Visual Art Center, Richmond, VA
2004   The First Taiwan Ceramics Biennale, Yingge Ceramics Museum, Taipei, Taiwan
2004   Perchance to Dream, Society for Contemporary Craft, Pittsburgh, PA
2003   Now and Now, Second World Ceramic Biennale, Icheon World Ceramic Center, Icheon, Korea
2002   Big Head/Ceramic Sculpture on a Heroic Scale, Russell Hill Rogers Gallery, Southwest School of Art and Craft, San Antonio, TX
2002   Mastery in Clay, The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, PA
2001   USA/Clay, Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian National Museum of American Art, Washington, D.C.

Selected Bibliography

2022   Hand Crafted; catalog published for the exhibition at Blackrock Center for the Arts; statement by Rula Jones, Curator
2019   Adamson, Glen, Jankauskas, Jennifer; About Face/Cotemporary Ceramic Sculpture; Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts (traveling)
2018   Deep Flash: On Art and Transformation; VisArts 30th Anniversary Exhibition; Catalog Statement: The Imbued Object, Nancy Sausser, pgs. 35-40.
2012   The Best of 500 Ceramics: Celebrating a Decade in Clay; Lark Press; pg. 15
2008   Schwartz, Judith S; Confrontational Ceramics; A&C Black and University of Pennsylvania Press; pg 166
2007   Risatti, Howard and Trapp Kenneth R.; A Theory of Craft: Function and Aesthetic Expression; University of North Carolina Press
2007   500 Ceramic Sculptures; Lark Press; Introduction by Glen R. Brown; p. 86
2006   Kangas, Matthew; Craft and Concept: The Rematerialization of the Art Object; Color Plate 3; Midmarch Arts Press; 2005 Meilach, Dona; Teapots: Makers and Collectors; Schiffer Publishing; pg. 29
2004   Nicholas Roukes; Artful Jesters: Innovators of Visual Wit and Humor; pgs.116-118
2004   Peterson, Susan; The Craft and Art of Clay; fourth edition; pg. 294
2004   The First Taiwan Ceramics Biennale 2004; published by the Taipei County Yingge Ceramics Museum; pg. 89
2004   500 Figures in Clay: Ceramic Artists Celebrate the Human Form; Lark Press Introduction by Leslie Ferrin; pgs. 36, 112, 115
2003   Now & Now: World Contemporary Ceramics; catalog published for The 2nd World Ceramic Biennale Korea,
2003   Risatti, Howard; Allan Rosenbaum’s Eccentric Inventions; Ceramic Art and Perception, issue 51, pp. 57-59.
2002   500 Teapots: Contemporary Explorations of a Timeless Design; Introduction by Kathy Triplett; pgs. 134,188,360;
2001   Zakin, Richard; Ceramics: Mastering the Craft; pg. 118; 2001
2001   DeBoos, Janet. “Looking in the Mirror Aspects of Figurative Ceramics,” Ceramics Art and Perception, No. 40, 2000, p.52
2001   Kangas, Matthew. "Allan Rosenbaum," American Ceramics, 12/2, p. 53

Public Collections

Smithsonian Renwick Gallery of the National Museum of American Art
City Museum, Varazdan, Croatia
Taipei County Yingge Ceramics Museum, Taipei, Taiwan
Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts, Little Rock, AR
Museum of Arts and Sciences, Macon, GA
Montgomery Museum of Fine Art, Montgomery, AL
Mobile Museum of Art, Mobile, AL
Madison Art Center, Madison, WI
Columbus State University, Columbus, GA
Horton Watkins High School, Ladue, MO
Kamm Teapot Foundation
City of Richmond, VA Public Art Commission

Selected Grants and Awards

2015   Fellow Residency, Virginia Center for Creative Art, Amherst, VA
2013   Fellow Residency, Virginia Center for Creative Art, Amherst, VA
2005   Individual Artist Fellowships: Virginia Commission for the Arts, Sculpture
1996   Individual Artist Fellowships: Virginia Commission for the Arts, Crafts

Academic Appointment

1986-2012   Professor, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA


1986 MFA, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA.
1978 BS, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Artist Statement

My practice is a material based inquiry in search of intersections between craft, art and design. Working abstractly without an explicit narrative, I rely upon analogue processes to create hybrid objects for contemplation. The work celebrates the pleasures of form, pattern, color and craft, while emphasizing the handmade as a counterpoint to the chaos of the world. I am interested in the way the hand can slow the eye to engage the mind.

In the studio, I explore the alchemy that occurs when various materials and processes are brought together to form an object. My recent wall sculptures are labor intensive endeavors juxtaposing a range of materials and processes. The works are modeled, carved, collaged, stamped, felted, stained, abraded, leafed and painted. I utilize a collection of inherited neckties and fabric scraps from family sewing projects—intimate materials that speak about who we are and what we do, and I add to my personal palette with fabric sourced from diverse geographies and histories. I seek donations, search the internet and scour estate sales, focusing on fabrics and textiles—quilt maker’s scrap, dutch wax fabrics, vintage kimonos, and accessories that have been cherished at one time and have subsequently fallen out of favor. In response to colors and patterns in the fabric, I piece together fragments and build up layers, creating a melting pot of material that is somehow made more beautiful in the process.

Curiosity is at the heart of my work. I avoid developing a linear construction of meaning, instead exploring possibilities with material interactions and accidents through experimentation. I am involved in a continual negotiation between two and three dimensions, and an elusive search for presence.